Friday, July 31, 2009

Dog Days in August

Join us in Berryville on Aug 29 for Dog Days in August! This fun day is hosted by our new collie club, Northern Virginia Collie Club, and will have dog games, raffles, demos, seminars and more. We'll also have other dog clubs represented, rescues and vendors of great doggy stuff. Click here for more info:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hmmm, I Wonder What I Should Do With These??

Gibson met some sheep at Frying Pan Park in Herndon:

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gibson at the Dog Park

Another good morning out for Gibson. A quick trip through the Farmer's Market, where he was perfectly relaxed and wanted to have children approach and hang off of him, then a hard romp at the dog park. We had to drag him away from his new buddies when it was time to go home!

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Break Through?

Could Gibson already have started his turn-around after Saturday's day out? He was very calm and relaxed when we had our sisters' afternoon at Casanel, wasn't afraid of the little bridge that he usually refuses to cross, laid at my feet part of the time, didn't pull or try to bolt on the walk up and back to the winery. Perhaps having Gustof as company helped and they got along very well. After we got home, we let the two boys rough-house on the deck. They made the deck rattle with their tumbling and running!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gibson Therapy

Gibson is not enjoying himself at shows at all and we're scratching our heads as to why. Last week, the judge told me to "work with him!" and that was why he went reserve. The previous week the judge said he was shy and to get him out more. If only these judges knew how much I am trying to get him out and over his phobias! He spends too much time thinking and reacting to new situations, once he's experienced something, he relaxes and is the gorgeous Gibson. Unfortunately, the shows aren't in the same ring every week with the same judge!
Yesterday, I took Gibson with me for errands. I went to work at the library for a little bit, leaving Gibson in the car. As staff came in, they asked me to bring Gibson in so they could meet him--now that would be a good experience, right? Gibson's never been in a library, probably won't be again but still our newly re-modeled and re-opened building has lots of new experiences and smells. It must have been too much for my poor boy, he started shaking then pooped not once but twice on the new carpet!
After making that good first impression and cleaning the carpet, we headed to the Farmer's Market. Gibson got lots of attention and petting. He was interested in sneaking some cheese samples and nosed at a couple of vegetable displays. It seemed like he was relaxed and that this was good for him. But, then we came to a vendor selling flute-like instruments. The man had been playing one, I thought it was nice and Gibson didn't seem concerned about it when we were a couple of stalls away. Once we got in front of the vendor, Gibson decided it was horrible and started barking at the vendor, then stood in front of people trying to walk by and blocking their path! It seemed he was trying to drive away business! I had to drag him away and couldn't shop in that area.
Our final stop was the dog park. Gibson enjoyed playing with the basset hounds but didn't understand why they kept barking at him. Most of the dogs at the park were finishing up their play time and we didn't stay long. Gibson was relaxed on the way home--or maybe he was just exhausted.
Today is sister time at Casanel and Gibson will go, too. Then I'll know if yesterday's efforts were productive or not!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Why Do I Put Myself Through These Things???

Today was vet day for Phoebe and Dixie. All went well until we actually got to the office (meaning, the drive to Leesburg was uneventful). I got the two girls out of the car and spent a minute or two talking to a bicyclist who was especially admiring of Phoebe, even though she's so naked she looks mangy. Our latest efforts to glue Dixie's ears in place left spots of glue in places other than her ears and the bicyclist said she looked "like she's got snot all over her head". After that compliment, I headed into the office. I thought Dixie was remarkably well behaved, not pulling on the leash at all and told her so. She didn't hear me as she had slipped her head out of her collar and was running towards another admirer! Dr. Pease had also just arrived so he scooped up the escapee for me. Once inside, I fixed Dixie's collar and thought all would be fine. Phoebe started barking at the other patients, and Dixie tried running back outside, bouncing off the glass door (she really is smarter than that, honest!)
Dr. Conway had the pleasure of the exam. Phoebe was great, is in good weight and health. Dixie weighs 26 pounds now--or maybe 32, or maybe 24. She wouldn't hold still on the scale! "She's very active" Dr. Conway observed and also said she has lots of personality. Dixie was good for her exam and shots, although she did have to jump up to see what was on the surface of the corner cabinet and there was an unfortunate moment when she snapped at her mother over a treat. Phoebe was such a model patient that the clinic staff think Dixie's bad ways must come from her father! I let them know Phoebe is no saint and that Danny is known as "the good dog". While I was paying the bill, Dixie went around the desk, angling for more treats and jumping up to see what Sue was doing.
After that, I did a couple of errands. By the time I got to Home Depot, I thought it was getting too hot to leave the dogs in the car and there is no shade in the store's parking lot. Against my better judgment, I took both the girls in the store with me. I plunked Dixie down into a cart but even that made shopping hard. Phoebe was very determined to go down certain aisles while Dixie was as determined to get out of the cart. But then, the other shoppers started to notice I had a puppy in my cart and started coming over to pet her. Phoebe wasn't getting any attention! Of course, that didn't go over well at all with her and she started getting stubborn about finishing our shopping and walking to the checkout.
We finally got back to the car and Dixie had had enough, too. When I opened the back of the Sequoia, Dixie jumped from the cart into her crate! Phoebe was too irked to even consider hopping up and I had to lift her into the back.
From the show front, Gibson is driving Ellen crazy! Last week-end, he stressed over being on the grooming table and kept backing away from the judge. Ellen kept him out of a couple of the shows as he was just too tense. Today went better, Gibson took reserve and even wagged his tail a few times while in the ring. I may handle him the next two days, to see if that helps his ring jitters. The "fun" of dogs, indeed!